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Comments on ARIES -ACT Strawman. L. El-Guebaly Fusion Technology Institute University of Wisconsin-Madison http:// Contributors: L. Carlson (UCSD), L. Waganer (Boeing ), S. Malang (UCSD)

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comments on aries act strawman

Comments onARIES-ACTStrawman

L. El-Guebaly

Fusion Technology Institute

University of Wisconsin-Madison


L. Carlson (UCSD), L. Waganer (Boeing), S. Malang (UCSD)

C. Kessel (PPPL), J. Minervini (MIT), K. Schultz (GA),

L. Cadwallader, B. Merrill (INL),

W. Sowder (Quality Management Services, Inc.),


ARIES Project Meeting

Bethesda, MD

April 4 - 5, 2011

11 2010 doe annual energy outlook for 2011
11/2010 DOE Annual Energy Outlook for 2011
  • http//
  • Report provides critical input into development of energy projections and analyses.
  • It outlines current (2010) and projected (2011) Overnight Cost for fission, coal, natural gas, and renewables
  • For nuclear and coal, projected cost increased by 37% due to:
    • Higher global commodity prices
    • Rising costs of capital intensive technology
    • Scarcity of construction firms experienced in complex engineering projects.

Do these attributes

apply to fusion?

aries act vs other sources of energy
ARIES-ACT vs. Other Sources of Energy

Fusion cheaper than fission ?!


2/2011 Strawman

COE = 66 mills/kWh


cost of electricity in 2009
Cost of Electricity (in 2009 $)

FCR = 0.09652

FCR = 0.05828

FCR is Fixed Charge Rate.

impact of fcr on coe
Impact of FCR on COE

For same FCR of 0.05828, 2/2011 ARIES-ACT:

  • Is more expensive than ARIES-AT with LSA=1
  • Has comparable COE to ARIES-AT with LSA=4.
place holders for aries act strawman to be updated as design evolves
“Place Holders” for ARIES-ACT Strawman(to be updated as design evolves)
  • Radial build:
    • ARIES-AT SiC/LiPbFW and blanket design
    • No thermal shield for TF magnets
    • 18 MWy/m2 EOL fluence for replaceable components
    • 40 FPY lifetime of permanent components.
  • Neutron power distribution: 65% to OB, 25% to IB, 10% to divertor
  • 20/80 power split for He loop of divertor and LiPb loop of FW/blanket/shield
  • 65 MW Paux(need nuclear heat load to LHe thermal shield and TF magnets)
  • 2 mills/kWh for D&D cost (need new algorithm for Class A and Class C LLW)
  • Cost of startup, stability control, and plasma fueling systems
  • Economic life = 40 y; Design lifetime = 47 y; Consider 50 or 60 y life?
  • Peak / average NWL = 1.5
  • Material unit costs:
    • LiPb with 90% enriched Li and < 50 wppm Bi impurity.
    • Multiplier for nuclear-grade materials (currently 1, meaning industrial/commercial materials)
    • Multiplier for safety-related components (currently 1, meaning no safety-related components).
sic lipb fw and blanket design
SiC/LiPb FW and Blanket Design
  • Any changes to ARIES-AT FW/blanket design?
  • Can FW handle:
    • Peak NWL of 4.7 MW/m2 ?
    • Disruption
    • High heat flux during transients?

Structure: SiC/SiC Composites

Coolant / Breeder: LiPb

lhe thermal shield for aries act
LHe Thermal Shield for ARIES-ACT
  • Magnet designers recommend thermal shield between VV (operating @ 200oC) and TF magnets (operating @ 4 K).
  • Per Kessel:
    • 4 K magnet cannot face 200oC components
    • 4 K cryogenic LHecryoplant is never capable of handling such high heat loads
    • It takes so much energy (300 W/W) and coolant capacity to reject high heat at 4 K
    • Rejecting heat at 70-100 K is cheaper and takes less energy (10 W/W).
  • ITER LHe thermal shield (ITER Newsline – 2/7/2011 - #163):
    • 2 cm thick stainless steel panels coated with low-emissivity silver
    • LHe cooling pipes welded to panels
    • Operates within 80-100 K during plasma operation
    • Korea completed full-scale mock-up of 10° inboard section and tested main procedures of fabrication including cutting, bending, forming, buffing, welding, and machining
    • Korea plans to make another mock-up for outboard 10° section, which will be assembled with inboard section.
  • Will include ITER’s 2 cm thick LHe thermal shield in ARIES-ACT radial build.
lipb cost
LiPb Cost
  • Per Waganer, 90% enriched LiPb could cost ~$9/kg based on:
    • Current cost of 99.97% pure Pb with 300 wppm Bi ($3/kg)
    • Predicted cost for 90% enriched Li of $1000/kg
    • LiPb material cost = Pb unit cost xLiPb mass x Pd-wt%

+ Li unit cost xLiPb mass x Li-wt%.

  • Q: Besides Pb and Li material costs, what are associated costs for:
    • Mixing tons of Li an Pb to make `6300 tons of Li15.7Pb84.3 eutectic?
    • Control Bi impurity below 50 wppm?
    • Purification system to remove byproducts?
  • Waganer’s suggestions:
    • MHTT Account should reflect additional cost for:
      • Mixing Li and Pb to make Li15.7Pb84.3 eutectic
      • Online purification system to remove:
        • Pb byproducts (Bi, Po, Hg radioisotopes)
        • Corrosion products (Fe, Ni, Cr radioisotopes)
    • Fuel Handling and Storage Account should include cost of:
      • T separation
      • Replenishment of Li.
  • Incremental cost increase to MHTT Account? (currently ~$200M – low compared to > $450M in ARIES-ST and CS)
  • Need industrial quote for tons of 30-90% enriched Li and LiPb.
li and pb mixing process should avoid high melting phases
Li and Pb Mixing Process Should Avoid High Melting Phases
  • Concerns:
    • - Non-uniform mix
    • - Formation of hard melting phases (with Tm > 235oC)

~ 6270 ton Pb

(11.3 g/cm3)

~ 40 ton Li

(0.53 g/cm3)



235oC- melting point of Li15.7Pb84.7 eutectic

(formerly known as Li17Pb83)

lipb unit cost
LiPb Unit Cost

American and German companies sell LiPb at much higher prices

than predicted by UWTOR-M and Waganer



1982 UWTOR-M Cost Estimate

Based on COLEX Enrichment Process (by ORNL)

cost of li enrichment
Cost of Li Enrichment

Shape of curve? Straight as in UWTOR-M?

Convex as proposed by Waganer? Or Concave?


1982 UWTOR-M Cost Estimate

Based on COLEX Enrichment Process (by ORNL)

boron enrichment provides guidance
Boron Enrichment Provides Guidance
  • Ceradyne, Inc. (formerly Eagle Picher): US company for B enrichment
  • Concave enrichment curve (not straight nor convex) .
  • Large cost for any enrichment.
  • Pricing based on volumes > 1 Ton. Much larger quantity has slightly lower unit cost (< 10%).
  • 30% price increase over 4 years (not just proportional to inflation rate).
recommended li enrichment cost
Recommended Li Enrichment Cost



  • Concave (not convex) enrichment curve for Li.
  • LiPb unit cost will be estimated accordingly.
nuclear grade components 12 2009 aries presentation by el guebaly
Nuclear-Grade Components(12/2009 ARIES Presentation by El-Guebaly)
  • Besides technical side for any material (functions, complex/simple shape, etc.), administrative side (inspections, qualified suppliers, material certifications, etc.) cost more in nuclear industry because of added quality assurance, documentation, and controlled manufacturing processes that are different from commercial industry type of activities.
  • Nuclear standards costs 2-10 times commercial standards due to QA, lots of inspections, records, and field work:
        • Complete traceability of items from raw material to finished product (paper work can cost more than item!):
          • Materialconstituents must meet ASME specs and impurity level, with documentation
          • Designers should follow Section III rigorous design rules, use FEA, and analyze it exhaustively, with documentation
          • Plans drawn for fabricators, with documentation
          • Fabricator has “hold points” to allow inspection, with documentation
          • Welding must be performed by Certified Nuclear Welders, inspected, radiographed, and documented
          • After assembly, the vessel is pressure tested to ~125% pressure, test is witnessed by Certified Inspector, and documented
          • If all documentations, inspection, and pressure test results are satisfactory, component receives N-stamp status and is documented.
          • Documentation is kept on file for the life of the vessel
        • Extensive quality assurance standards (big cost item)
        • Stringent testing requirements.
  • Suggest applying nuclear-grade to structural elements (not fillers):
    • SiC/SiC composites of FW, blanket, shield, and divertor
    • W alloys of FW and divertor
    • FS structure of FW, blanket, shield, and divertor
    • Pipes carrying radioactive He and LiPb coolants.
safety related components 12 2009 aries presentation by el guebaly
Safety-Related Components(12/2009 ARIES Presentation by El-Guebaly)
  • Besides basic function, these N-stamp components implement safety function, such as:
    • Confine radioactivity
    • Limit public/workers exposure to radiation.
  • ARIES safety-related components:
    • Vacuum vessel, maintenance ports, penetrations for plasma heating/control, and pumping ports (1st confinement barrier for radioactivity and ultimate heat sink for removing decay heat)
    • Pipes penetrating VV, unless isolation valves separate VV from externals
      • LiPb system (pipes penetrate VV and contains highly radioactive LiPb)
    • Cleanup/isolation/monitoring systems:
      • Isolation valves for He
      • Rupture disks (to guarantee pressure remains below limit)
      • Monitors for loss of coolants
      • Monitors for Po-210 detection
      • Monitors in detritiation system building (e.g., T monitors that send signal to building HVAC system to isolate building if T air concentration becomes too high and T cleanup system shifts into high efficiency mode to remove T)  
    • Confinement building(2nd confinement barrier for radioactivity).
  • NOT Safety-related systems:
    • All in-vessel components: FW, blanket, divertor, shield, manifolds (not required for confinement of radioactivity; not needed to ensure public or plant safety)
    • Helium system(providing that isolation valves placed on helium lines at VV and He contains small amounts of T).
  • Open safety-related question: Could failure of FW/blanket/shield endanger the VV (safety-related component) that in turn endangers workers/public?
economic impact
Economic Impact


  • Nuclear-grade materials:
    • Increase unit cost of structural elements by factor of1.5 (10th-of-a-kind):
      • SiC/SiC composites of FW, blanket, and shield, and divertor
      • W alloys of FW and divertor
      • FS structure of FW, blanket, shield, and divertor
      • Pipes carrying radioactive He and LiPb coolants (in MHTT Account).
  • Safety-related components:
    • Increase unit cost of structural elements by factor of2(10th-of-a-kind):
      • Vacuum vessel
      • Maintenance port enclosures
      • Pumping port enclosures
      • Penetration enclosures (for plasma heating/control).